Date: 8/10/2013
Who: Mark and myself
Length: about 9 miles
Time: about 6 hours
Weather: cool, cloudy

Our lodging in Austria was a rental guest house in Stummerberg, a town in the Zillertal region. I found it through the Homeaway.com website. The Haus Kammerlander has two or three rental apartments, separate from the main house where the family lives. We stayed in the “Alpenblick” apartment. The house is on the hillside about 1,000′ above the valley, and the balcony had a nice view looking south down the valley. The apartment was clean and well-equipped. the wireless Internet service was solid–I was able to Facetime back to the U.S. with no problem. Our hosts Marianne and Joseph were very nice and patient with our substandard German skills. Their homemade schnapps was super! I would rent there again.

On the last full vacation day in Austria, we drove the Zillertaler Höhenstraβe (high road) and took a day hike in Hochzillertal. We had lunch at the Kaltenbacher Schihütte–which had many families with children playing in the “Murmeltier Land” attraction.

Later that afternoon, while Mark prepared to celebrate Mass, I took another hike right from the rental apartment. I found the freytag & berndt map WK 151 to be very useful this day. During this late afternoon hike I said my “goodbyes” to Austria.

One unexpected thing we learned on this vacation was the correct way to eat a Weiβwurst. I didn’t know that Weiβwurst is traditionally only served before Noon (it’s a breakfast sausage), and that one removes the outer skin before eating it, usually with special mustard, pretzel, and beer. It does taste better with the casing removed! If you visit Germany or Austria, don’t be a rube like me–peel your Weiβwurst!

Morning hike route:

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Afternoon hike route:

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Date: 8/4/2013, 8/5/2013
Who: Mark and myself
Weather: warm, sunny

On 8/4 and 8/5, Mark and I visited Innsbruck during our Austrian Summer vacation. Back in 1987-88, we studied together here as part of a Notre Dame study abroad program.

Mark met with a friend of his at the Jesuit community while I had lunch with my cousin, Marie, who happened to be on her own European vacation. I visited my former residence, the Leopoldenhaus, and walked along the Inn river.

We both met with Frau Horak at her house in Igls for coffee and cake. (Frau Horak was the Austrian liason with Notre Dame for many years of the Innsbruck study abroad program.) For our visit she made a cheesecake topped with fresh berries from her yard (yum-o!). We ended up talking for several hours and stayed for dinner! We were sad to learn that Notre Dame discontinued the Innsbruck program in 2010. The German-language program is now in Berlin, Germany. Thanks so much for the nice visit, Frau Horak! It definitely was a highlight of our week.

Finally, we spent a little time just walking around looking at the sights in and near the Altstadt, and remembered fun times with our Innsbruck friends.

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Berchtesgaden and Salzburg

Date: 8/9/2013
Who: Mark and myself
Weather: rainy

This was a cloudy, rainy day and Mark and I decided to take advantage of the freedom of having a rental car. We drove the minor highways from Stumm in Zillertal through Sankt Johann, to Berchtesgaden in Germany. We spent about 2 hours walking around there. Then, drove down to Königsee. The weather was still cloudy and rainy, so we decided against taking a boat tour on the Königsee. Then, we drove up to Salzburg and walked around the old city, remembering friends and experiences when we studied there in 1987. We had a meal at the Augustiner Bräustübl, and drove the main highway back to Stumm.

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